UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Doctoral Degree Requirements

UCSB offers three doctoral degrees: the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.), and the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) (Closed to new applicants). The Ph.D. is not a unit-count degree, but a research degree awarded upon demonstration of the student’s academic excellence and research capability. To that end, doctoral students must pass doctoral qualifying examinations to demonstrate mastery of their chosen field and produce a dissertation acceptable to their doctoral committee. Doctoral students normally follow a plan of study determined in consultation with their advisors. The D.M.A. is a professional degree with distinct course, performance, and research requirements and the Ed.D. is a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. Specific degree requirements for each discipline are described in the department’s section in this catalog.

Doctoral committees. A doctoral committee consists of a minimum of three ladder faculty, two of whom must be from the student’s home program; additional members from the department or from other disciplines may be added either to meet departmental requirements for additional members or at the student’s discretion. The chair (or one of the co-chairs) must be from the student’s home program. In some departments, the same committee conducts qualifying examinations and supervises work on the dissertation; in other departments separate committees are nominated. It is not unusual for doctoral committee membership to change during the course of a student’s work on the doctorate.

The doctoral committee is nominated by the department chair in consultation with the student and approved by the graduate dean. The chair of the committee advises the student on a course of study leading to the qualifying examinations and usually serves as director of the student’s dissertation research. The Graduate Council may consider written requests for exceptions.

Qualifying examinations and advancement to candidacy. All doctoral students are required to officially advance to candidacy for the doctorate. In order to officially advance to doctoral candidacy, students must satisfy all course and residence requirements; be registered; fulfill foreign language and/or methodology requirements set by the academic department; pass departmental preliminary and screening examinations; pass oral qualifying examinations administered by the student’s doctoral committee (as well as written qualifying examinations in some departments); and pay an advancement to candidacy fee at the Graduate Division. Students who fail to advance to candidacy within the department's approved time standard become subject to departmental warning, academic probation and possible dismissal, as outlined in the Academic Progress and Time-To-Degree Standards section.

In a few departments, students may petition for the award of the candidate in philosophy (C.Phil.) degree at the time they advance for the doctorate. Students must petition the Graduate Division for the award of the C.Phil. within one year of passing their oral qualifying examination. The C.Phil. degree certifies that a student has completed all doctoral requirements except for the dissertation. The C.Phil. degree is awarded only to Ph.D. candidates on recommendation of departmental faculty in those departments that have elected and been approved by the Graduate Council to award the C.Phil. degree. No applicant will be admitted with a final degree objective of C.Phil.

Additional standards of scholarship. In addition to the basic standards of scholarship detailed above, doctoral students who cannot develop a satisfactory dissertation research proposal or form a faculty committee of three members to supervise the dissertation research may be placed on academic probation and become subject to dismissal for failure to make satisfactory progress toward the degree.

Dissertation and filing requirements. The doctoral dissertation must be the result of original research in the field of the candidate’s specialization. The candidate’s doctoral committee determines the acceptability of the dissertation; all members of the committee must approve the dissertation. Departments may require a defense of the dissertation, or waive the defense if appropriate.

The dissertation must meet the formatting and filing requirements of the Graduate Council. Doctoral students may file one copy of their dissertations electronically. For details, see the Graduate Division’s Guide to Filing Theses and Dissertations, available at: www.graddiv.ucsb.edu under the Academic Services heading. The student is also responsible for fulfilling disciplinary norms and requirements affecting content of dissertations. Doctoral degree candidates must complete a ProQuest/UMI Dissertation Publishing Agreement, the UCSB Survey of Doctoral Degree recipients (www.graddiv.ucsb.edu/exitsurvey), and a Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED) questionnaire available at the Graduate Division. The Graduate Council requires that dissertations be published through ProQuest to ensure the widest possible dissemination of knowledge. The Survey of Earned Doctorates, conducted by the National Research Council, provides nationwide information on all doctoral degree recipients, their fields, their career plans and other pertinent data. (See the Graduate Handbook for complete information on filing requirements.)